I decided to walk a very short day and stop Logrono (about 10km). It just seemed like a good idea. The cold was pretty exhausting and I just felt like a hotel and some serious sleep. And, most importantly, a hot bath.
Just a quick word on albergeus and more specifically, the showers in the albergues, so that this “hot bath requirement” may be put in perspective. The albergues are so much a part of the Camino that I think you miss out if you don’t stay in them. Sitting and chatting in the afternoon was such a highlight that it was well worth dealing with large dormitories, double bunks and of course the snoring. After Burgos, the snoring was not a problem for me. I met Sally, from Australia, walking in and we had some lunch together. After mentioning to her that I was struggling to sleep because of the snoring, she bought me a pair of silicone ear plugs that literally meant a 100% sound block out. In fact the silence was quite eerie. I will always remember her as one of my Camino angels for this kind act. The gift of a good nights sleep....priceless!
Some of the showers, though, were an experience. A lot of them are co-ed. This is fine except it means that you have to undress, shower and get dressed again in the shower cubicle. Doing this successfully is actually an art. You have to keep the clothes that you take off dry as chances are you will be walking in some of them again the next day. Once they are off, you need to put them somewhere so that they stay dry while you are showering. Hooks were not that plentiful so they usually got hung over the shower curtain rail with your clean clothes and toiletry bag which also, preferably, needed to stay off the shower floor. This requires a very careful balancing act. An added challenge was that slip slops, which are non negotiable in shared ablutions, tend to be extremely slippery on wet floors so, while trying to undress and balance everything on the curtain rail you are also trying to stay on your feet. Then you shower which is actually the easy part. After that, the fun begins. You retrieve your super absorbent travel towel, which is the size of a large face cloth and try to dry yourself. Actually you just rearrange the water on your body because they are not that super absorbent after all. When you give up and consider yourself to be as dry as you are going to get, you get dressed into your clean evening clothes (the same that you will wear every evening until Santiago) without letting any of them touch the shower floor. Considering that a shower is 1m X 1m, this is actually quite tricky especially because you are not actually that dry and clothes are more difficult to get on when you are still a little damp.
Having said this, the cold beer/hot chocolate/coffee/dinner that you have with whichever friendly pilgrims are around after your shower ordeal more than made up for it!
Alas, the thought of a hot bath in Logrono was to much and I took a “half day” there. It was worth it. I got there and booked in by 10h00. Had a hot bath. Slept for 2 hours. Had another hot bath. Found lunch. Slept for another 2 hours. Found supper. Had yet another hot bath and was asleep by 8. Perfect. This stop over also meant that I met up with the most amazing people over the next few days who I possibly would have missed if I had pushed on. The way of the Camino indeed.
I was privileged to spend a lot of time exploring wilderness areas in southern Africa from a very young age. I got my first camera when I was 6 years old and I have been passionate about wildlife and landscape photography ever since.